The recent hypocrisy of Hearts is making sympathy for the Tynecastle club’s fight against relegation rapidly erode away.
Hearts are rightly raging at the injustice of suffering a drop to the Championship after the league was called early by the SPFL board due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yet, at the same time, Hearts are trying to prevent title winners Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers’ rightful promotion.
Hearts, along with Partick Thistle, who are fighting relegation from the Championship, have launched legal papers which, if successful, would deny those three clubs a step up.
Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers all excelled last season to secure their respective league titles and earn promotion.
All three have also undertaken extensive and costly preparations for next season in a higher league.
But Hearts owner Ann Budge and the Jags want to obliterate that to serve the needs of their own clubs.Where is the fairness in that?
Hearts had hoped to avoid relegation via reconstruction, but once the 14-10-10-10 proposal was rejected they have chosen the legal route.
Of all the proposals, 14-10-10-10 could have worked as no club would be relegated and title winners would go up. Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers would also enter the senior set-up.
Yet only 16 of the 42 senior clubs indicated they would support such a measure if it went to a vote.
In April, Budge stated Hearts would accept relegation and said: “If that is what the community of football clubs believe is right, I’m not going to fight it to death.
“If we have to deal with relegation, we deal with relegation.”
Now that last hope of staying up through reconstruction has been quashed, Hearts have moved the goalposts by launching legal action that could potentially delay the August 1 start date of the Premiership, the day the broadcast deal with Sky Sports starts.
Clubs are on their knees financially due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Hearts and Partick want compensation. SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster says there are no cash reserves and the cost of any legal action or payout would have to be borne by the other 40 clubs.
While throwing Scottish football into chaos to fight against relegation, Hearts also ditched Daniel Stendel by activating a relegation clause in his contract. You couldn’t make it up!